Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rod Dreher: "Did you ever think you would live to see this? The Pope is refuting the magisterial teaching of his own Church... Poor historical, sacramental Catholicism."

I'm not sure I'd put it quite like that, but here's Rod Dreher, commenting on the Pope cracking the door to Lutheran communion (American Conservative, November 16, 2015):
Francis continues to, um, amaze. From Rocco Palma’s report on the Pope’s meeting with Lutherans in Rome on Sunday, as part of an ecumenical dialogue: 
In an answer that’s almost certain to resonate broadly across the ecumenical scene (and elsewhere, quite possibly show his hand on his intended course following last month’s Synod on the Family), the pontiff – clearly wrestling with the plea – pointedly appealed less to the standard prohibition of the Eucharist for Protestant communities than to the woman’s discernment in conscience.
As if to reinforce the point, in a move clearly decided in advance, Francis publicly presented the pastor with a chalice which appeared identical to the ones the Pope gave the archbishops of Washington, New York and Philadelphia during his late September US trip. 
Quoting from his answer to a question posed by a Lutheran woman married to a Catholic man, about when she and her husband can expect to receive holy communion together (it is forbidden in the Catholic Church for non-Catholics — Orthodox Christians excepted under certain conditions — to receive communion): 
I can only respond to your question with a question: what can I do with my husband that the Lord’s Supper might accompany me on my path? It’s a problem that each must answer [for themselves], but a pastor-friend once told me that “We believe that the Lord is present there, he is present” – you believe that the Lord is present. And what’s the difference? There are explanations, interpretations, but life is bigger than explanations and interpretations. Always refer back to your baptism – one faith, one baptism, one Lord: this Paul tells us; and then consequences come later.
I would never dare to give permission to do this, because it’s not my own competence. One baptism, one Lord, one faith. Talk to the Lord and then go forward. [Pauses] And I wouldn’t dare – I don’t dare say anything more. 
In other words: let your conscience be your guide. Who is the Pope to judge? 
It is not in the competence of the pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church to say that a Protestant cannot receive communion in a Catholic mass Really? 
Here Dreher quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1400, which says:
1400 Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, “have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders.” It is for this reason that, for the Catholic Church, Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible. However these ecclesial communities, “when they commemorate the Lord’s death and resurrection in the Holy Supper . . . profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory.”
Dreher observes the shift from this:
“Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible” is now “One baptism, one Lord, one faith. Talk to the Lord and then go forward.”
Of course he “would never dare to give permission to do this,” the Jesuit pope said, Jesuitically, but said so in winking at doing that very thing. Hard to avoid the conclusion that Pope Francis just effectively rewrote the Catechism, and destroyed a Eucharistic discipline that has existed since the Reformation. Did you ever think you would live to see this? The Pope is refuting the magisterial teaching of his own Church, and not on a small matter either.
Here is how one reader sees the matter: "In an era when everything is becoming up for grabs, the Pope adds to the disorientation. It is not one big thing, but all the combined little things that make Francis a catastrophe."


7 comments:








Dan Clark

said...

Decades ago I attended a mass at the Des Moines Catholic Worker house led by the late, beloved Bishop Maurice Dingman. He included me without hesitation when I went forward—knowing full well that I was not Catholic. Evidently the good bishop broke a rule that night, and I maybe I did, too. Obviously I am not beholden to your magisterial teachings or care much what becomes of them. I say changes that bring Christians closer among ourselves are long overdue (not to mention other faiths). I say God bless Pope Francis for all he does to affirm the oneness of our human family!





Pertinacious Papist

said...

Hi Dan. I understand your view as an outsider looking in and favoring "inclusion." Makes sense in that way. I can see how it's easy for a bishop or any priest to conform to this view, seeing how easily the alternative can be misunderstood.

Let me try to give you a picture of how the matter looks to a Catholic who understands and loves the Magisterium. It's like having sex outside of marriage. Inviting to Holy Communion someone who is not "in communion" with the Church and her teaching is like inviting someone to have sex without any commitment to marriage.

In fact, if you understand St. Paul's warnings about the dangers of the sacrilege involved in receiving in that sense "unworthily" (along with its dire consequences of possible death -- spiritual if not physical: "drinking to his own damnation"), then the Catholic who gives you notice that you shouldn't receive Communion when not "in communion" with the Church and her teachings is doing you the favor of keeping you from "drinking to your damnation"'; so that you ought to be thankful. As thankful as you should be if you tried to have sex outside of marriage with a young lass in West Virginia if someone warned you about his irate pappy with his shotgun who might come after you -- only a fate much, much worse. Cheers, PB





Jordanes551

said...

"In an era when everything is becoming up for grabs, the Pope adds to the disorientation. It is not one big thing, but all the combined little things that make Francis a catastrophe."

And that is why the pontificate of Francis must end as soon as possible, whether through his abdication or his natural death -- even if his abdication comes as a result of action by a Church Council. I wouldn't even object too strongly to a group of Cardinals imitating the act of John Gratian.





JM

said...

It's one thing for a priest at the local level to bend the rules, another entirely for the Pope to go about say he dare not counsel breaking rules -- but then actually do so. As with so many things in the Francis papacy, I can appreciate the possible spirit behind certain acts our utterances, but not the way they are played out. As a former Evangelical who supports ECT, you'd think I would love his overtures to Protestants. rouble is they seem more Unitarian than Catholic or Protestant to me. It may be the Latin American cultural factor, but there it is.





Bluto

said...

"I am not beholden to your magisterial teachings or care much what becomes of them"

Are you SURE you're not a Catholic?

As for your gollywoggling over the slackness of the beloved Dingman, "bringing Christians together" could be accomplished as well by a Chinese auction, poker night at the Knights of Columbus, or maybe a bachelor party complete with strippers. You seem a rather credulous fellow, and piety as a pose is a pain in the ass to witness.





Dymphna

said...

Has anyone ever wondered why the only thing Protestants can agree on is their hatred and incessant need to meddle in the Catholic Church?





Pertinacious Papist

said...

Heh. I think the Catholic Church is the one sine qua non for all those groups that define themselves by way of opposition to her. The pitiful thing is when Catholics start doing the same thing though, wouldn't you agree?